A 63-year-old Texas man died after protecting his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter from being gunned down in the El Paso massacre earlier this month.
While shopping with his wife, Kathy Johnson, David Johson and their granddaughter, Kaitlyn Melendez, shots rang out.
“My father-in-law, David, pushed my mother-in-law and daughter out of the way so that they could hide,” Raul Melendez, 34, of El Paso, reveals to PEOPLE.“That’s when he was hit.”
His father-in-law said he “acted as a hero. He saved my daughter and I can never thank him enough for it.”
Johnson was one of 22 people who were murdered in this past month’s mass shooting, according to the El Paso Police.
Both police as well as first responders arrived at the Cielo Vista Mall at 10.45 a.m. just six minutes after receiving frightened calls regarding an active shooter according to Police Chief Greg Allen.
The store was near capacity due to back-to-school shopping with as many as 3,000 people inside.
In total, 22 people were killed while 24 were injured.